By: Susan Kraemer
Alpha Energy, a Bellingham, Washington-based photovoltaic power systems provider, has installed one of the largest parking structure solar arrays in the US; a 1 MW system on the parking lot of an auto auction facility in New Jersey.
The solar panels will supply the New Jersey grid with more than a million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
This much clean electricity will replace 1.9 million pounds of carbon dioxide that would have been emitted by the provision of an equivalent number of kilowatt-hours produced by polluting electricity from coal, gas or oil.
Like an equivalent sized building would; the construction of the parking structure required 550,000 pounds of steel and 240 cubic yards of concrete. Unlike a traditional parking structure, it also required 54,000 feet of wiring to add the solar power.
The 1 MW structure, comprising over 5,000 individual 171 Watt panels, is connected via 11 inverters to a meter connecting it to the grid, and spans a total area of 104,000 square feet.
The visitors to the Manheim NJ National Auto Dealers Exchange auction facility in Bordentown, NJ will be able to plug in their electric cars under the parking structure, and all the parking lot lighting will be powered by the solar array. But the New Jersey grid is the big beneficiary of this much power.
Alpha Energy designed, installed, commissioned, tested, and will provide ongoing monitoring of the system.
Source: Alpha Energy